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Achraf Hakimi explains why he snubbed Chelsea offer before joining PSG – ‘I had to come’


Paris Saint-Germain defender Achraf Hakimi has revealed that he turned down an offer from Chelsea in order to be ‘happy’ with the French giants over the summer. The 22-year-old was expected to leave former club Inter Milan following Antonio Conte’s shock exit and promptly joined PSG for a fee in the region of £54million in July.

Hakimi was on Chelsea’s radar at the beginning of the summer transfer window, with Thomas Tuchel keen on adding a world-class right wing-back to his ranks.

The Blues reportedly entered talks with Inter over the possibility of bringing him to Stamford Bridge in June.

Marcos Alonso was said to have been offered alongside a hefty transfer fee in exchange for Hakimi, but the Morocco international ended up joining PSG instead.

He signed a five-year contract upon his move to the Parc des Princes and has since admitted that he rejected an approach from Chelsea in order to seal the deal.

“I had two offers, one from Chelsea and one from Paris Saint-Germain,” Hakimi told L’Equipe via Football Italia.

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“But I felt I had to come to Paris, that I would have been happy there. PSG is a great club.

“I really appreciate the support the fans gave me straight away. I was lucky because so many other champions joined me.

“I feel good at PSG, we have a dream team and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Hakimi’s agent, Alejandro Camano, previously made the suggestion that his client may have been reluctant to sign for Chelsea as a result of their recent Champions League triumph.

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“Chelsea also [made a] bid for Achraf,” Camano told El Transistor back in July.

“The fact that he left [previous] Champions League champions [Real Madrid] might have deterred him.”

Hakimi was joined by the likes of Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Lionel Messi at PSG before the end of the summer transfer window.

The nine-time Ligue 1 champions enjoyed arguably the best pre-season of any club in world football, with the majority of their high-profile signings arriving on free transfers.

Meanwhile, Chelsea spent heavily to bring Hakimi’s former Inter team-mate, Romelu Lukaku, back to Stamford Bridge in a club-record £97.5m move.

However, they were left empty-handed at the back, with the Blues failing to land Sevilla’s Jules Kounde after Hakimi turned them down to sign for PSG.

It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will decide to renew their interest in adding a new defender to their ranks when the upcoming January window rolls around.





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